Molecular Diagnosis, Genetics and Evolution of Human Pathogenic Fungi

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X). This special issue belongs to the section "Fungal Genomics, Genetics and Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 5531

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Tropical Medicine of Rio Grande do Norte, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil
Interests: pathogenic fungi; speciation; genetic variability; virulence; autocatalitic genetic elements

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Guest Editor
Instituto de Patologia Tropical e Saúde Pública, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil
Interests: pathogenic fungi; speciation; molecular diagnosis; fungal biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few years, accumulated knowlegde about fungal genomics and genetics faciliated the enhanced understanding of many pertinent aspects for medical mycology, such as (i) fungal taxonomy, as more and more phylogenetic molecular markers become available; (ii) fungal cryptic speciation; and (iii) the impact of fungal genetic variability in virulence, parasite–host interactions, fungal eco-epidemiology, clinical aspects of mycoses, and antifungal susceptibility. An understanding of certain fungal species as a variable population has improved the tools for molecular diagnostic and genotyping of many important fungal pathogens. Therefore, this Special Issue of JoF welcomes research and review papers about fungal genetics and evolution and their impact on the pathogenesis and diagnostic of fungal diseases.

Dr. Raquel Cordeiro Theodoro
Dr. Thales Domingos Arantes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • pathogenic fungal
  • virulence
  • antifungal susceptibility
  • molecular variability
  • molecular diagnostic
  • phylogeny
  • evolution

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 2802 KiB  
Article
Iron Starvation Induces Ferricrocin Production and the Reductive Iron Acquisition System in the Chromoblastomycosis Agent Cladophialophora carrionii
by Alexandre Melo Bailão, Kassyo Lobato Potenciano da Silva, Dayane Moraes, Beatrix Lechner, Herbert Lindner, Hubertus Haas, Célia Maria Almeida Soares and Mirelle Garcia Silva-Bailão
J. Fungi 2023, 9(7), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9070727 - 05 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Iron is a micronutrient required by almost all living organisms. Despite being essential, the availability of this metal is low in aerobic environments. Additionally, mammalian hosts evolved strategies to restrict iron from invading microorganisms. In this scenario, the survival of pathogenic fungi depends [...] Read more.
Iron is a micronutrient required by almost all living organisms. Despite being essential, the availability of this metal is low in aerobic environments. Additionally, mammalian hosts evolved strategies to restrict iron from invading microorganisms. In this scenario, the survival of pathogenic fungi depends on high-affinity iron uptake mechanisms. Here, we show that the production of siderophores and the reductive iron acquisition system (RIA) are employed by Cladophialophora carrionii under iron restriction. This black fungus is one of the causative agents of chromoblastomycosis, a neglected subcutaneous tropical disease. Siderophore biosynthesis genes are arranged in clusters and, interestingly, two RIA systems are present in the genome. Orthologs of putative siderophore transporters were identified as well. Iron starvation regulates the expression of genes related to both siderophore production and RIA systems, as well as of two transcription factors that regulate iron homeostasis in fungi. A chrome azurol S assay demonstrated the secretion of hydroxamate-type siderophores, which were further identified via RP-HPLC and mass spectrometry as ferricrocin. An analysis of cell extracts also revealed ferricrocin as an intracellular siderophore. The presence of active high-affinity iron acquisition systems may surely contribute to fungal survival during infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnosis, Genetics and Evolution of Human Pathogenic Fungi)
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17 pages, 4808 KiB  
Article
Distribution and Polymorphisms of Group I Introns in Mitochondrial Genes from Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii
by Ronald Muryellison Oliveira da Silva Gomes, Kássia Jéssica Galdino da Silva, Leonardo Capistrano Ferreira, Thales Domingos Arantes and Raquel Cordeiro Theodoro
J. Fungi 2023, 9(6), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9060629 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
The species complexes Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are the causative agents of cryptococcosis. Virulence and susceptibility to antifungals may vary within each species according to the fungal genotype. Therefore, specific and easily accessible molecular markers are required to distinguish cryptic species and/or [...] Read more.
The species complexes Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are the causative agents of cryptococcosis. Virulence and susceptibility to antifungals may vary within each species according to the fungal genotype. Therefore, specific and easily accessible molecular markers are required to distinguish cryptic species and/or genotypes. Group I introns are potential markers for this purpose because they are polymorphic concerning their presence and sequence. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the presence of group I introns in the mitochondrial genes cob and cox1 in different Cryptococcus isolates. Additionally, the origin, distribution, and evolution of these introns were investigated by phylogenetic analyses, including previously sequenced introns for the mtLSU gene. Approximately 80.5% of the 36 sequenced introns presented homing endonucleases, and phylogenetic analyses revealed that introns occupying the same insertion site form monophyletic clades. This suggests that they likely share a common ancestor that invaded the site prior to species divergence. There was only one case of heterologous invasion, probably through horizontal transfer to C. decagattii (VGIV genotype) from another fungal species. Our results showed that the C. neoformans complex has fewer introns compared to C. gattii. Additionally, there is significant polymorphism in the presence and size of these elements, both among and within genotypes. As a result, it is impossible to differentiate the cryptic species using a single intron. However, it was possible to differentiate among genotypes within each species complex, by combining PCRs of mtLSU and cox1 introns, for C. neoformans species, and mtLSU and cob introns for C. gattii species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnosis, Genetics and Evolution of Human Pathogenic Fungi)
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14 pages, 4726 KiB  
Article
Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis of Candida glabrata Isolates from a Patient with Persistent Fungemia and Determination of the Molecular Mechanisms of Multidrug Resistance
by Ha Jin Lim, Min Ji Choi, Seung A. Byun, Eun Jeong Won, Joo Heon Park, Yong Jun Choi, Hyun-Jung Choi, Hyun-Woo Choi, Seung-Jung Kee, Soo Hyun Kim, Myung Geun Shin, Seung Yeob Lee, Mi-Na Kim and Jong Hee Shin
J. Fungi 2023, 9(5), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9050515 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to determine the molecular mechanisms of multidrug resistance for 10 serial Candida glabrata bloodstream isolates obtained from a neutropenic patient during 82 days of amphotericin B (AMB) or echinocandin therapy. For WGS, a library was prepared and sequenced [...] Read more.
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was used to determine the molecular mechanisms of multidrug resistance for 10 serial Candida glabrata bloodstream isolates obtained from a neutropenic patient during 82 days of amphotericin B (AMB) or echinocandin therapy. For WGS, a library was prepared and sequenced using a Nextera DNA Flex Kit (Illumina) and the MiseqDx (Illumina) instrument. All isolates harbored the same Msh2p substitution, V239L, associated with multilocus sequence type 7 and a Pdr1p substitution, L825P, that caused azole resistance. Of six isolates with increased AMB MICs (≥2 mg/L), three harboring the Erg6p A158fs mutation had AMB MICs ≥ 8 mg/L, and three harboring the Erg6p R314K, Erg3p G236D, or Erg3p F226fs mutation had AMB MICs of 2–3 mg/L. Four isolates harboring the Erg6p A158fs or R314K mutation had fluconazole MICs of 4–8 mg/L while the remaining six had fluconazole MICs ≥ 256 mg/L. Two isolates with micafungin MICs > 8 mg/L harbored Fks2p (I661_L662insF) and Fks1p (C499fs) mutations, while six isolates with micafungin MICs of 0.25–2 mg/L harbored an Fks2p K1357E substitution. Using WGS, we detected novel mechanisms of AMB and echinocandin resistance; we explored mechanisms that may explain the complex relationship between AMB and azole resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnosis, Genetics and Evolution of Human Pathogenic Fungi)
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Review

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23 pages, 824 KiB  
Review
Candida parapsilosis sensu stricto Antifungal Resistance Mechanisms and Associated Epidemiology
by Iacopo Franconi, Cosmeri Rizzato, Noemi Poma, Arianna Tavanti and Antonella Lupetti
J. Fungi 2023, 9(8), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9080798 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
Fungal diseases cause millions of deaths per year worldwide. Antifungal resistance has become a matter of great concern in public health. In recent years rates of non-albicans species have risen dramatically. Candida parapsilosis is now reported to be the second most frequent [...] Read more.
Fungal diseases cause millions of deaths per year worldwide. Antifungal resistance has become a matter of great concern in public health. In recent years rates of non-albicans species have risen dramatically. Candida parapsilosis is now reported to be the second most frequent species causing candidemia in several countries in Europe, Latin America, South Africa and Asia. Rates of acquired azole resistance are reaching a worrisome threshold from multiple reports as in vitro susceptibility testing is now starting also to explore tolerance and heteroresistance to antifungal compounds. With this review, the authors seek to evaluate known antifungal resistance mechanisms and their worldwide distribution in Candida species infections with a specific focus on C. parapsilosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnosis, Genetics and Evolution of Human Pathogenic Fungi)
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